2013 in Review: Justin Timberlake’s Fractured Reign

Timberlake

During the first track on The 20/20 Experience, the first of two 2013 albums from Justin Timberlake, the multi-hyphenate superstar describes the love of his life as “my drug,” “my dealer” (yes, both), “my heroin” (rhymes with “wine”), “my cocaine,” “my nicotine,” “my blue dream” and “my hydroponic jelly bean.” (OK, that last one’s just plain weird.) He could have just as easily been describing his relationship with the American public, who gobbled up every morsel on his multi-course musical comeback menu with the vigor of, well, an addict. America simply couldn’t get enough of the suit and tie this year.

Or could they? Years from now, will we remember this year as the latest triumph in Timberlake’s impressive multi-decade streak, or the slow fade of an artist with plenty of energy but little substance beneath the style? The evidence from the first half of the year suggests the former, but the second half of the year brought its fair share of disappointments, casting a shadow over the Year of JT.

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The M&M Report Episode 4: Pusher Love Podcast

JT

It’s time for another episode of The M&M Report, and this is a very special edition for several reasons.

First, we’re a little later than usual. Better late than never, as they say!

Second, we welcomed our first guest this week! My friend Matt Waskiewicz joined me to talk Breaking Bad while Devin plugged his ears and avoided spoilers like the plague. (Just kidding. He left the room.)

Third, we branched out from TV this week with a discussion of some great pop music. Next week: the movies! The week after that: the world!

Before Matt joined me, Devin and I talked about the new season of Parks and Recreation and debated the merits of this year’s barrage of Justin Timberlake action.

Thanks for listening! For further reading, check out my blog post on Justin Timberlake and this New York Times profile.

0:00 – 8:25 / Parks and Recreation
8:25 – 28:55 / Justin Timberlake
28:55 – 48:40 / Breaking Bad

Three More Thoughts on Justin Timberlake’s “The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2”

20/20

Because it’s been so long since the last one (right), Justin Timberlake just released a new album. The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2 is a sequel to the monster hit The 20/20 Experience, which debuted all the way in the long-forgotten time period collectively known as six months ago. I wrote a review of this very long, often baffling, sometimes dazzling collection of tunes for The Eagle’s Album Reviews Brew.

“With the second half of his year-long pop music takeover, Timberlake has delivered an album of 12 tracks that span a wide spectrum of styles and emotions, from animalistic desires to lovestruck devotion. This sequel to the year’s best-selling album strips away much of the romance and throwback smoothness of instant classics like “Mirrors” and “Pusher Love Girl” in favor of a more sinister aesthetic.”

Read the rest of my review here, and click through for Three More Thoughts:

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Pop Odds & Ends: Fall Into New Pop

Katy

Some of pop’s biggest stars have returned in fall force for the final quarter of this year, which is rapidly and bewilderingly winding down in just a few short months. I’ve got some (mostly positive) thoughts on new tracks by Katy Perry, Justin Timberlake, Lorde, Britney Spears and Eminem.

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